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Quartz and granite are both excellent choices for bathroom or kitchen countertops. Granite has a more natural look but is often more expensive, while quartz is more budget-friendly but looks a little more artificial. Granite is more resistant to heat, while quartz is more resistant to staining. Use our guide to the differences between quartz and granite to decide which material is the best option for your new counters.
On This Page:
- What’s the Difference Between Quartz and Granite?
- Quartz vs. Granite: Which is Better?
- Appearance and Colors
- Durability and Hardness
- Heat Resistance
- Moisture Resistance
- Repair and Maintenance
- Environmental Friendliness
- Resale Value
- Which is Best For Your Home?
- Granite vs. Quartz vs. Other Countertop Materials
- Stone Fabricators and Dealers
What’s the Difference Between Quartz and Granite?
Granite is naturally occurring and is mined from the earth in large slabs. Quartz for countertops is available as engineered quartz or quartzite. Quartzite is natural, like granite. But engineered quartz is essentially crushed rocks and minerals set in resin.
Quartz is a mineral that forms when silicon crystallizes. It’s the second most abundant material in the Earth’s crust after feldspar. You’ll find quartz in almost all types of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Natural quartz countertops are, in fact, quartzite, while standard quartz worktops are engineered quartz.
In this guide, unless otherwise noted, we’ll be talking about engineered quartz.
Engineered quartz is a blend of crushed rocks that contain quartz and resin. Up to 90% of the composition is crushed quartz rocks, while the rest is resin to bind and hold the quartz in the required form. This engineered stone is “baked” into slabs in factories using synthetic polymer resins and pigments to color the slabs.
Because of its synthetic nature, engineered quartz is available in more colors and patterns than any natural stone, including quartzite and granite.
Quartzite is a natural stone. It’s a metamorphic rock that started out as sandstone and metamorphosed into quartzite under intense heat and pressure. It’s mined from the Earth in large slabs. Quartzite usually has a slightly rough texture to it, which gives counters an organic vibe.
Granite is an igneous rock that was formed from cooling magma. It contains lots of quartz and feldspar, along with other minerals, which gives it its distinctive look. Like quartzite, it is mined in huge slabs.
Quartz vs. Granite: Which is Better?
Quartz and granite both have many positives that make them popular choices for bathroom and kitchen remodels. Let’s take a look at which one comes out on top in each of the most important considerations.
Appearance and Colors
The Most Natural Looking: Granite
Appearance isn’t everything, but it does have significant impact on your home’s resale value and how much pleasure you take from your space. If you’re going to invest in new kitchen counters, then they should please your sense of style.
- Can be dyed to any color
- Can have any pattern added
- More consistent appearance that hides seams better
- Color may fade with long-term UV exposure
- Even “natural-look” quartz looks more manufactured than real stone
- Has a distinctive natural appearance
- Each slab is unique
- Lots of natural hues available
- Only natural colors available
- Naturally occurring imperfections
- Seams are more visible
Most Affordable: Granite
Cost is a significant factor when choosing a countertop material. If you really want a quartz or granite countertop but the price is prohibitive on a large scale, think about using this material just on an island or as a feature worktop.
Quartz cost per square foot: $50-$100 without installation
Factors that influence cost:
- Special edges including eased, beveledand bullnose
- Seam joining
- Custom-dyed resin
- Custom patterns or veining
Granite cost per square foot: $40-$60 without installation
Factors that influence cost:
- Larger slabs
- Unusual colors
Professional Installation: Tie
Each type of material has a different set of challenges when it comes to installation. Because both quartz and granite are largely constructed of real stone, they are exceptionally heavy, challenging to work with, and not suitable for DIY installation.
- Manufactured to fit exactly
- Installation not as time-consuming as with natural stone
- Resin is non-porous: No sealing required at installation
- Cabinets need reinforcing due to weight
- Aligning cutouts is challenging
- Requires specialized equipment to transport and move stone
- Manufacturer pre-cuts slabs to make installation easier
- Small mistakes in measuring could mean recutting
- Requires careful transportation as it is vulnerable to cracking
- Extremely heavy. Cabinets require reinforcement to support countertop weight
Easiest Upkeep: Quartz
Kitchen or bathroom worktops need to be easy to clean to minimize bacteria buildup and staining. Granite and quartz are both strong contenders here.
- Non-porous, highly resistant to staining
- Resistant to bacteria growth
- Does not require resealing
- Dark, dyed liquids will stain if not wiped away quickly
- If cared for properly, granite will last a lifetime
- Can be kept free of bacteria as long as the seal remains intact
- Can cut and prep food directly on the sealed surface without fear of scratching
- Requires regular sealing to resist absorption
- Porous: Liquids will be absorbed quickly if not properly sealed
- Cleaning needs to be done regularly to inhibit bacteria growth
Durability and Hardness
The Tougher of the Two: Quartz
Kitchen and bathroom counters put up with a lot. They need to be durable and hardwearing enough to withstand dropped pots, scratches from knives, and chipping or cracking from kitchen implements.
- Engineered to be durable
- More flexible than regular stone: Less prone to breaking
- Not scratch proof, only scratch-resistant
- Scratches are more visible due to uniform color
- Strong enough to resist chipping and scratching from kitchen utensils
- Countertop edges and corners are vulnerable to chipping
- Chipping can occur anywhere on the counter from hard objects
- Difficult to repair
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The Most Heat Resistant: Granite
Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, your countertops will be exposed to heat, in the form of hot curling irons or pots from the stove. So you need to understand whether your chosen material can tolerate this much heat or if you’ll need to use hot pads.
|Can handle temperatures to 150 degrees||Will not discolor if a pot is placed directly on the countertop|
|Resin used can discolor when exposed to high heats||Thermal shock may crack the granite. Use a hot pad|
Most Resistant to Moisture and Staining: Quartz
Moisture resistance is an important factor when it comes to countertops. You’ll inevitably have spills and expose the countertops to liquids.
- Non-porous and will not absorb moisture
- Dark-colored liquids could discolor the quartz
- Resistant to moisture if sealed correctly
- Needs resealing regularly
- Staining can occur from moisture remaining on the surface for any length of time
Repair and Maintenance
Easier to Repair: Granite
However tough your worktops, they will need some type of ongoing maintenance, and they may eventually need repair. Granite and quartz are both tough and resilient.
- Small scratches can be easily repaired with epoxy kits
- Naturally shiny. Doesn’t need to be polished
- No need to use chemicals to clean with. Use a mild soap or detergent
- Cracks are difficult to repair. Consistent coloring makes them visible
- Heat discoloration is permanent
- Minor scratches can be repaired by polishing the surface
- A professional is required to ensure a high-quality finish
- Don’t clean with dish soap, it will cause a residue build-up
The Greener Choice: Quartz
Environmental friendliness is something many of us think about before we make a purchase, and that extends to remodeling and construction projects, too.
|Made from crushed rock: Makes mining easier||To mine and transport large pieces of natural stone takes energy and increases the carbon footprint|
|Waste product from other industries can be used for making engineered quartz slabs||Look for locally sourced stone|
|Use remnants if flexible with color|
Which is More Likely to Pay for Itself: Granite
Even if you have no immediate plans to sell your property, it’s still worth considering what value your new kitchen or bathroom counters will add to your home.
|Newer to the home renovation scene, it has a weaker reputation||Very sought out by buyers|
|Expect to get close to the initial investment||Can add value equal to 100% of their original cost|
Quartz vs. Granite: Which is Best For Your Home?
Granite and quartz both have many attractive qualities. They’re durable, long-lasting, and add value to your home. One key factor that should influence your decision is which room you’re remodeling. If you’re still unsure, speak to a local countertop installer.
For Bathroom Countertops
In the bathroom, quartz wins. Its non-porous nature means that it’s impervious to water damage. Quartz also won’t stain or incur marks from toothpaste, shampoo and other bathroom essentials. Plus, it’s easy to clean and keep germ-free.
For Kitchen Worktops
In the kitchen, granite wins for longevity and heat resistance. You can stand a hot pan on the counter and not worry about permanently damaging the finish. Yes, granite needs to be resealed periodically to remain moisture resistant, but its other qualities make it a top choice for the kitchen.
For Remodeling On a Budget
Granite is the most budget-friendly compared to quartz. It costs $40-$60 per square foot for materials, whereas quartz costs $50-$100 per square foot.
Ready to start your countertop installation?
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Granite vs. Quartz vs. Other Countertop Materials
There are plenty of alternatives to granite and quartz. You’re not just limited to natural stone and engineered stone look-alikes.
Marble is beautiful and is considered supremely elegant. However, it’s not the best kitchen or bathroom countertop material. It scratches easily, is very porous and is susceptible to damage from acidic foods and commercial cleaners. It’s also expensive and high-maintenance.
Vs. Solid Surface
Solid surface is affordable compared to granite and quartz. It’s functional but basic and, while it does provide a usable work surface, it doesn’t elevate your property in the same way as natural or engineered stone.
On the other hand, your choices of colors and patterns are much wider than with granite. And it’s reasonably easy to repair yourself. If the worktop incurs damage, you can simply sand out the scratches.
Laminate countertops cost a fraction of the price of real stone or resin. It’s another basic but functional option that has a lot of color and style options. It cannot be easily repaired and is not heat-resistant. However, if you are working on a tight budget, this could be a good option.
Concrete countertops cost less than quartz and granite, so make a good compromise when you want something solid but don’t want to blow your whole budget on stone.
Concrete is heat-resistant and can be dyed or textured to your specifications. However, it is porous, so it does need regular resealing.
Stone Fabricators and Dealers
Do your due diligence when searching for a stone fabricator and hiring a countertop installer for your project. If you don’t want to deal with a fabricator yourself, you can find a contractor who can provide the countertop material as well as perform the installation.
|Top Granite Suppliers||Top Quartz Countertop Brands|
|Granite Granite Inc.||Pentalquartz|